”Cheaper Than Bullets”: Violence Against Women in the Congo
Filmmaker Lisa Jackson, director of the HBO documentary, The Greatest Silence.
Provoke Radio (Maryland)
Host: Stephen Spahn
We listen to the stories in disbelief. Stories of unspeakable violence and horrific barbarism that come to us from around the world and around the corner. Perhaps the most startling phenomenon is our own disbelief…for these horror stories are nothing new. They come to us in a steady stream day in and day out... century after century. Man’s inhumanity to man bludgeons on relentlessly, yet we are still surprised by it. The fact that we have not altogether become desensitized to brutality offers a sliver of hope, but the harsher reality is that we persist in creating new enemies, new reasons to hate, new ways to inflict pain…and new ways to defile and annihilate both the human body and human spirit. The latest collective nightmare is the one that has been unreeling in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the past ten years where the most horrific violence against women has been carried out as a deliberate strategy in a brutal civil war. It is by far the most mind-numbing, savage sexual violence in history. The stories are nearly impossible to listen to and yet they must be told. Thankfully, HBO filmmaker, Lisa Jackson, is one woman who was brave enough to travel to the Congo in order to give these women a voice and bring their stories to our attention. Little by little the broken but courageous Congolese women opened up to Lisa and shared their sad and harrowing stories, which she presents to us in her documentary, "The Greatest Silence", a film which has helped raise awareness of this terrible war crime and has spurred UN and Congressional action to help. Recently, our producer, Claire Hartman, sat down with Ms. Jackson to discuss the issue of gender violence in the Congo and to learn what’s being done to stem the persecution. That conversation can be heard in this show. A must hear for everyone because it is just one more stark argument against war. As if we needed another.
To Listen to the Episode (1/11/09)